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Cary and NCDOT Partnership Brings Autonomous Shuttle to Bond Park for Three-month Pilot
CASSI (Connected Autonomous Shuttle Supporting Innovation) comes to Cary for a three-month pilot project thanks to a partnership with the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
The shuttle operates at no cost to riders from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; the pilot ends June 2.
View the shuttle up close in the Earth Day Lane section of the Spring Daze Arts & Crafts
Festival in Bond Park on April 29.
The driverless, low-speed shuttle will run a four-stop route in Bond Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday between March 6 and June 2.
“We’re so excited to test this cutting-edge technology in Cary,” said Jerry Jensen, Cary’s Director of Transportation. “There’s so much innovation happening in autonomous vehicles right now, and it’s a great opportunity for Bond Park visitors to see it up close. We’re grateful to our partners at the North Carolina Department of Transportation for the chance to bring this pilot project to Cary.”
Manufactured by France-based Navya and operated by Lake Nona, Florida-based Beep, the shuttle relies on LiDAR, cameras, and GPS technology to safely transport up to eight passengers and an attendant along a fixed route. A similar shuttle was previously piloted under the CASSI program at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills and on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The project in Bond Park is a cross-departmental effort, bringing together teams from around Cary to get the pilot off and running.
“Cary’s staff and leaders are constantly looking ahead for signs of the next innovation,” said Nicole Coughlin, Cary’s Chief Information Officer. “We’re still in the early days of driverless vehicles, but the technology is continuously improving. Through this pilot, we hope to get a sense of how autonomous vehicles might figure into future Cary projects, and to hear from riders about their experience on the shuttle. Bringing CASSI to Cary furthers our priority for innovation and imagining how new ideas can be used to benefit our citizens.”
The autonomous shuttle is wheelchair accessible and runs at speeds up to 12 mph. While the shuttle uses cutting-edge technology to operate without a driver and does not feature a traditional steering wheel or manual brakes, a trained attendant will be present at all times to take manual control of the vehicle, if needed, to ensure the safety of the passengers. There is no cost to ride.
Visitors to Spring Daze will have a chance to see the shuttle up close in the Earth Day Lane section of the festival on April 29.